OONI of Ife Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi has sent a congratulatory message to the new British prime minister Boris Johnson reminding him of the need to remember a promise he made to protect Africa’s interest.
Earlier this week, Mr Johnson succeeded Theresa May as British prime minister after winning the ruling Conservative Party’s leadership election. It is still unclear how Africa’s will feature in Mr Johnson’s foreign policy plans as he plans to exit the European Union by October 31.
On Thursday, Catriona Laing, the British high commissioner to Nigeria, paid a courtesy call on Oba Ogunwusi at his palace in Ile-Ife. During the visit, the monarch flanked by his wife Olori Naomi, described the Nigeria-UK relationship as cordial and expressed his belief in the high commissioner’s ability to uphold and improve on it.
Oba Ogunwusi said: “I love the prime minister’s inaugural speech that power belongs to the people. I want to use this opportunity to implore him and his team to work hard to be able to deliver on their promises to the world.
“Once again, I congratulate him and I pray that the Almighty God will be with him and make him succeed in this new capacity and in his future endeavours. Similarly, I commend the British high commissioner to Nigeria for her good works, particularly to strengthen the strong cordial relationship between the United Kingdom and Nigeria.
“You are very much welcome to your home Ile Ife, the cradle of the human race and natural headquarters of Yoruba nation. I want you to during your tenure here in Nigeria work with us for peace, for love and for progress so that good history can be made of your tenure as the British high commissioner to Nigeria.”
Mrs Catriona who was thrilled by several cultural displays from entertainers, explained that the Nigeria-British relationship remained strong, adding that she had mapped out plans to further strengthen it. Among the plans the high commissioner said she had were to encourage British businesses to invest in Nigeria.
She said: “I am going to focus on three things first of which is to strengthen our commercial relationships by encouraging British companies to come here. Secondly is to support Nigeria to combat her security challenges especially in the northeast and the third is what we are doing today, which is to strengthen people-to-people relationship especially in the area of culture.”